This past Thursday evening had all of the makings for the Old City’s transformation into a ghost town: Bonnaroo had just kicked off, relocating a majority of the city’s bar-hopping fixtures to Manchester, and the relentless humidity caused the remaining patrons to be drenched after only a few minutes outside. But inside Pilot Light—filled nearly to capacity with a young, sweaty, and spandex-clad crowd—the last thought on anyone’s mind was the massive festival.
Columbia, S.C.’s, dance-inducing Toro Y Moi shared the stage with Florida’s MillionYoung and local favorites Coolrunnings, both of which are on local label Arcade Sound Ltd., headed by Knoxville’s Ryan Foltz. And besides the unanticipated size of the crowd, which spilled generously outside of the club onto Jackson Avenue, the night was filled with surprises, including the debut of MillionYoung’s cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” which gradually morphed into a gloriously drunken sing-along. Toro Y Moi also debuted a bigger sound, with the addition of a drummer.
After the show, the energy carried over to Foltz’s nearby loft, which hosted a sizable crowd of local musicians, fans, and members of both MillionYoung and Coolrunnings. And as the beer flowed freely and the night wore on, it became apparent why MillionYoung has said multiple times that Knoxville is his favorite town.